Colorado Springs to Capitol Reef National Park Road Trip Guide


People from far and wide come to Colorado Springs to enjoy the many aspects of this beautiful city. This city isn’t just a popular tourist destination in Colorado, but one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

The city seems to have it all; legendary natural beauty, historic national treasures, and numerous fun-filled attractions to keep anyone entertained. When you’re in Colorado Springs, there are some things that you just cannot ignore. Ivywild School, 4th Infantry Division Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, U.S. Air Force Academy Planetarium & Stem Center, and the Garden of the Gods are just some of the unmissable spots in the city.

The shortest and most thrilling route from the Colorado Springs Utah to Capitol Reef National Park is via Colorado Highway – 115. Take this route to catch all the interesting spots in each state.

What could be a better way to utilize your weekend other than escaping to a natural retreat for some well-deserved time off? Capitol Reef National Park in Southern Utah is just perfect for a little getaway with friends or your significant other.

Located just a few minutes from Torrey, UT, this park offers some of the best hikes in all of the states. The Hickman Bridge, Cathedral Valley, and Gooseneck Overlook in the National Park present some of the most unusual sights with the likes of architectural marvel done in Red Rock, a natural bridge you couldn’t help but gawk at, and a magnificent view of the Sulphur Creek.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: friends

Point of Interest

May Natural History Museum

Do you thrive on curiosity and have a thirst for knowledge that cannot be stopped? If your answer to either of them is in the affirmative then you definitely need to visit the May Natural History Museum in Rock Creek Park, Colorado. Located just south of the Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado’s famous El Paso County, this museum has exhibits featuring more than 7,000 species of insects. Most of them will make your skin crawl but fascinate you at the same time.

The museum also has the title of being one of the largest privately-owned collections of tropical bugs. It took the founder of the museum, James May, 20 years of plenty of travels and adventures to collect rare, exotic, and beautiful creepy crawlies. Ironically, the museum is located right behind the kitschy statue of a Giant West Indian Hercules Beetle. The way to the museum is through a recreational vehicle campground, which is perfect for your group. This little stop in Colorado is the perfect way to kickstart your road trip.

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

After spending a few hours staring at the museum and driving about you can call it a day once you reach Denver, CO. However, don’t hit the sack just yet as while you are in Denver you can enjoy witnessing the talented artists and performers at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Located on the southside of Larimer Square, this theater is an enormous cultural center with eight different venues within. There’s the Boettcher Concert Hall, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Buell Theater, and the Auditorium Theater to name a few. Buell Theater, with its 2800-seat capacity, is the largest of them all and is often seen hosting the flamboyant and flashy Broadway musicals.

The genres of the performing arts here are diverse and you can find musicals, innovative plays, and cabarets on most nights. In fact, the center is almost always hosting shows and you’re certain to find something to your liking to end your day on a perfect note.

Grand Mesa National Forest

Start your second day of the trip by hitting the road before sunrise, so that when you reach the legendary Grand Mesa National Forest in Western Colorado, you can witness the ascend of the sun from Grand Mesa ‑ the world’s largest flat-top mountain.

Grand Mesa has a lot more to offer than just gorgeous scenery. The sweeping lands of the site are covered in a stunning natural forest, more than 300 lakes, rare geological features, and local wildlife that will you breathless. The best way to appreciate this magnificent scenery is by driving through the Mesa Scenic Byway and capturing the memorable scenery in your cameras forever. The place is frequented by hikers, hunters, campers, and fishermen. With so much to do, you’d need at least a day to appreciate it in all its magnificent glory. Spend your second day here and do not leave until you have slept under the clear starry skies of the Grand Mesa.

Thompson Springs

After a peaceful night camping at the Grand Mesa hit the road and make your road trip a lot more interesting by hitting a ghost town-to be in Utah. While the town of Thompson Springs isn’t completely abandoned, it is well on its way there, with a small and dwindling population of just 40 residents.

Nothing makes a road trip more thrilling than seeing a town with a haunted vibe to it. As you’ll stroll through the town, you’ll be able to see all the abandoned and fast decaying shops and houses along the Frontage Road in addition to the old fountains and crumbling wooden structures. The town lost most of its residents when the highway was replaced by the interstate and the town lost its major access road other than the small exit found at 1-70. You’ll need two or three hours to survey this town that was once a small spring-side community of farmers, sheepherders, and cattlemen.


Capitol Reef National Park in Utah safely falls into the category of paths less traveled, and that certainly makes it all the more special. It is a retreat in nature’s lap that will unwind and relax you as few things could.

After starting this road trip from a big touristy city and making stops at all the mind-blowing natural and man-made centers, finding this national park at the end of your road, will give it a perfect end. You can enjoy hiking, camping, and just gazing at the unusual white rock domes, reefs, and the sweeping vistas of the twisted landscape of desert rock in this epic national park.

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